What is Edema?

Edema is a type of swelling caused by water and excess fluid retention in the body’s tissues including the skin and it mainly occurs in the hands, arms, legs, feet and ankles. Edema is caused when the capillaries leak fluid into the surrounding tissues, which cause the area to swell. It could be due to capillary damage or increase pressure in capillaries. In certain cases, Edema may be a symptom of other serious diseases like kidney disease, cirrhosis, congestive heart failure that requires serious medical attention. Other benign cases of water retention and swelling such as premenstrual bloating, puffiness due to congestion can be healed with acupuncture.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has a great deal to say about edema and its affect on the body. Many times edema is a reaction to an external or environmental factor. For instance, when I worked in Panama many of my patients dealt with the sudden onset of edema. The acute onset would especially affect tourists who were not accustomed to the extreme heat. Their bodies would go into a state of shock and survival where fluid loss and dehydration were a real risk therefore the body would hold on to any liquid within the body as to not dehydrate. My treatments with those patients and others like them would be first to address any core imbalances as well as using points that increase metabolism and circulation. The treatments help restore the water table and balance the body.

 

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